"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing."
I don't do very well under criticism.
Quite frankly, it makes me nauseous.
Unfortunately, it is just part of life, unless you just shut yourself off from society or run and hide, resulting in little to no impact for the Kingdom.
Because Kingdom impact necessitates being relational, even when being relational is almost always messy.
Recently the Lord has orchestrated events and activities which have forced me out of my comfort zone and made me HAVE to get relational. Oh yes, I could run and hide because the more "out there" I get, the more chances for there seem to be for criticism, judgement and misunderstanding.
My writing gets misinterpreted ALL.THE.TIME. and offends someone.
The jewelry I made wasn't what the buyer wanted.
The Norwex order wasn't right.
The oils didn't work "magic" and make life any better.
I have my hand in all these little areas and my day has the potential to be completely ruined by an email from an offended reader or a disgruntled customer.
But I have to remember that God has allowed me to do all these little things and I have a choice to let these things rock my very being or just keep moving forward, knowing that I am doing my best.
I want to be quick to listen and understand, and apologize when I am in the wrong.
I also want to brush off the hurtful things that are said and be able to move on when something simply is not true.
But I can't run and hide, trying my best to eliminate all areas where criticism could occur, because, like Aristotle said, I would have to "say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing."
And that isn't what we, as followers of Christ, are called to do!
Luckily, God has given us tools (and the residing Holy Spirit) to help us get past the fear and timidity of being relational and all that comes with it.
"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,
but gives us power, love and self discipline."
2 Timothy 1:7